Trump Courted by Rick Perry; Giuliani for VP?

Saturday, 27 Aug 2011 09:56 PM

By Special From Newsmax's Most Informed Sources

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Trump Courted by Perry
2. DeMint Top Conservative on New 'Scorecard'
3. Suicide Rate Soars in Iran
4. 'Non-profit' Colleges Can Be Quite Profitable
5. Hillary Ranked as World's 2nd Most Powerful Woman
6. We Heard: Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Al Gore
 

1. Trump Courted by Perry

Donald Trump has said he decided not to run for president in 2012, but the billionaire businessman could still be playing a key behind-the-scenes role in the Republican White House race.

Word is that Trump has spoken on the phone several times with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the new front-runner for the GOP nomination. Sources say Perry called the billionaire and offered high praise for Trump's business acumen.

We hear that Trump likes Perry and the two will likely meet face to face sometime in September.

Trump has become his own "Iowa" — a must-do stopping point for all GOP candidates.

He met with former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, who has yet to announce if she will seek the presidency next year. The two had a 15-minute get-together at Trump's Manhattan penthouse on May 31.

Afterward Palin told reporters she and Trump share "our love for this country, a desire to see our economy put back on the right track," and Trump said "I'd love her to run" for president.

Trump met earlier with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee before Huckabee decided not to run for president, and the two had a "very honest and open conversation about the process of running," Huckabee said.

Then on July 28, Huckabee said in an email he thought the time may be ripe for Trump to re-enter the presidential race.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is also in the mix, said to be meeting with Trump in early September.

And Trump recently praised another GOP presidential candidate, Ron Paul, saying in a tweet: "Ron Paul is right that we are wasting trillions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Trump has said he would not run for president as a third-party candidate. But Patrick Caddell, a respected political pollster and strategist, co-wrote an op-ed piece in Thursday's Wall Street Journal predicting that a third-party candidate will enter the presidential race.

The article cited a poll showing that 57 percent of voters now say there is a need for a third party, and stated that voters are seeking a leader offering "a new direction and a proven record of getting things done."

Our sources say Caddell and Trump have been huddling at posh Trump Tower offices in New York.

Editor's Note:



2. DeMint Top Conservative on New 'Scorecard'

South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint scored a near-perfect 99 percent favorable rating on Heritage Action for America's new legislative scorecard, a barometer of lawmakers' willingness to fight for conservative policies in Congress.

The scorecard, unveiled on Thursday, "currently encompasses 30 votes and five co-sponsorship scores in the House and 19 votes and four co-sponsorship scores in the Senate," Heritage Action explained.

"The votes cover the full spectrum of conservatism, and include legislative action on issues both large and small."

Heritage Action's CEO Michael A. Needham said: "Heritage Action's scorecard will empower Americans to hold their Members of Congress accountable to conservative principles."

DeMint was followed by a string of fellow Republicans: Utah Sen. Mike Lee, who received a 98 percent rating; South Carolina Rep. Jeffrey Duncan (97 percent); Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Arizona Rep. Trent Franks (96 percent); Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan (96 percent); and Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake and South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney (95 percent).

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson, and Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe received a 94 percent rating.

Eleven other Republicans, including Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida, received a rating of 90 percent or above.

The highest-rated Democrat, California Rep. Janice Hahn — who has been in office only since July 12 — received a 50 percent rating.

At the other end of the scorecard, 28 senators and congressmen — all of them Democrats — received a 0 percent rating. Among them are Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts, Al Franken of Minnesota, Charles Schumer of New York, and Dick Durbin of Illinois.

The lowest-ranked Republicans are Washington Rep. Dave Reichert at 30 percent, and New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen at 34 percent.

Heritage Action for America is a conservative policy advocacy group founded in 2010 and a sister organization of The Heritage Foundation think tank.

Editor's Note:



3. Suicide Rate Soars in Iran

Iran's suicide rate has shot up 17 percent in the past two years as the radical Islamic government seeks to crush "any sign of joy" among Iranians.

On average, 10 Iranians take their lives each day, according to a government official.

Ahmad Shaja'i, Iran's chief of forensic medicine, said 952 Iranians — mostly men — took their own lives in the three-month period beginning in March.

Mehrdad Khonsari, a former Iranian diplomat, said that "aggravated economic and social conditions" may have contributed to the spike in suicides, especially among the nation's youth.

"Iranians don't live a normal life," he told The Media Line. "There are barriers to interaction between youth, forced marriages, and many young couples must live with their parents because they can't afford housing."

Opposition activist Potkin Azarmehr, a blogger who lives in London, told The Media Line: "The government seems intent on crushing any sign of joy and happiness among Iranians. There used to be room for people to do as they wished at least inside their homes, but now even that is taken away from them."

Iranian "morality police" recently arrested 17 teenagers for staging a water fight in a public park, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Azarmehr said "every Iranian knows someone who got in trouble with the morality police."

He added that the so-called Green Revolution that followed contested presidential elections in 2009, which was violently put down by government forces, has left many Iranians hopeless about change.

"They feel they can no longer change the regime, and things are just getting worse."

Editor's Note:



4. 'Non-profit' Colleges Can Be Quite Profitable

So-called "non-profit" colleges actually rake in profits by spending less on students than they reap in revenue, according to a new report.

"If we define profit as 'charging consumers more for a service than it costs to provide that service,' then both government and officially non-profit institutions" are profitable, the report from the John Williams Pope Center for Higher Education Policy discloses.

The report cites a book by Oklahoma State professor Vance Fried, "Better/Cheaper College." He calculates that a quality liberal arts education at a residential college needs to cost only around $8,000 per year, but most colleges charge far more.

"Based on tuition revenues alone, the average private undergraduate school makes about $5,500 per student per year," Fried writes in a recent paper.

"When donations and endowment income are added, profits jump to $12,800 per student," which is twice the profit margin earned by for-profit University of Phoenix, he points out.

Schools like Harvard, a private university, and the University of North Carolina, a public institution, "do not show profits on their books, but instead take their profits in the form of spending on some combination of research, graduate education, low-demand majors, low faculty teaching loads, excess compensation, and featherbedding," Fried writes.

Public universities are also profitable because they receive large amounts of support from the state. Fried calculates that profit at these schools is around $11,000 per student. The "profits are spent on items like low teaching loads and excessive compensation," he adds.

Fried regards faculty research as an unnecessary expense. And he suggests that professors should have a teaching load of 12 hours per semester even if they are engaged in research.

He also argues that a reduction in government support for higher education would lead to higher college productivity — and lower government spending.

Editor's Note:



5. Hillary Ranked as World's 2nd Most Powerful Woman

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the world's second-most powerful woman, behind only German Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to Forbes magazine's new 2011 list of the "World's 100 Most Powerful Women."

First lady Michelle Obama, who was No. 1 on the 2010 list, is now No. 8, and Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin are both on the list.

"They are politicians, CEOs, bankers, cultural icons, billionaires and entrepreneurs," Forbes notes.

"The women on this list were chosen not just for being on top but for being smack in the middle of Richter-registering events — and more. Their power derives from money and might, yes, but also (thanks to old, new and social media) reach and influence.

"This year's No. 1 in the ranking, German Chancellor Angela Merkel — recognized as the 'undisputed' leader of the EU — is key to curing what ails the euro zone. As the Arab spring turns into the autocrats' summer, No. 2-ranked U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton provides encouragement to dissidents."

No. 3 behind Merkel and Clinton is Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, followed by Indra Nooyi, chief executive at PepsiCo; Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook; Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and Indian President Sonia Gandhi.

Rounding out the Top 10 are Obama; Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund; and Irene Rosenfeld, CEO at Kraft Foods.

The top-ranked entertainer on the list is Lady Gaga at No. 11. Others in the top 100 include: Oprah Winfrey (No. 14), Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano (No. 15), Rep. Bachmann (No. 22), Palin (No. 34), news anchor Diane Sawyer (No. 47), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (No. 52), and Fox News Channel host Greta Van Susteren (No. 75).

Editor's Note:



6. We Heard…

THAT a key New York State Republican is calling on presidential contender Rick Perry to choose former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani as his running mate for next year's election.

Former state GOP Chairman William Powers told the New York Post that Giuliani could help Texas Gov. Perry carry key swing states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

"Even in heavily Democratic New York, people should realize he could have a big impact for the ticket upstate and in the outer boroughs [of New York City], which elected Rudy two times," Powers said.

Giuliani has said he will decide by the end of September whether he will seek the GOP presidential nomination.

THAT Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is planning to replace his $12 million home in La Jolla, Calif., with a new home nearly four times as large.

Romney has filed an application with the city to bulldoze his 3,009-square-foot house and build a new 11,062-square-foot mansion on the site, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

A Romney campaign official said the current home of the Romneys, who have two sons and several grandchildren living in the area, is "in inadequate for their needs."

In recent years Romney and his wife Ann have sold their 6,500-square-foot home in Belmont, Mass., and a 9,500-square-foot home near Park City, Utah, according to the Washington Post. They still own a vacation home in New Hampshire and a townhouse outside Boston.

THAT as rebel forces advanced on the Libyan capital of Tripoli on Monday, CNN ran a graphic with a "Breaking News" banner and a map showing the location of Tripoli.

Problem: The map showed the location of Tripoli, Lebanon, not Tripoli in Libya.

Gawker.com reported the glaring error in an article headlined: "CNN Thinks All Tripolis Look the Same."

THAT a gunman pulled a heist at a Michigan bank disguised as former vice president and climate change crusader Al Gore.

The robber hit the Century Bank and Trust in Coldwater on Wednesday wearing a Gore mask and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.

A woman at the bank called 911 and reported: "We just got robbed. He had a mask on. It reminded me, there was a movie, like a surfer movie, and it had that kind of a mask ... It had Keanu Reeves, they had masks on."

The caller was referring to the 1991 film "Point Break," starring Reeves and Patrick Swayze, which featured bank robbers who wore masks of Nixon, Carter, Reagan and LBJ and called themselves the Ex-presidents Gang.

Gore never made it into that category.

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Editor's Note:



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